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Depression Study to Kick Off

Australian researchers are kicking off a large-scale genetic study of depression, ABC's Triple J Hack reports.

The researchers hope that the Australian Genetics of Depression Study, which is part of a larger international effort, will uncover depression risk genes as well as inform drug treatment choices for depression. Currently, Hack notes that patients often undergo rounds of trial and error before finding medications that work for them.

"Just having to go through that constant guesswork can trigger so many more issues. I think if we can eradicate that mismatched part of it and figure out what works well for [individuals] it would have such a good impact," study participant Kayla Gonzalez tells Hack.

Right now, QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute's Nick Martin, who is leading the Australian effort, adds that the study is recruiting people like Gonzalez to take part. They hope to enroll 20,000 people in Australia. He notes that they also plan to study the side effects of depression therapies. "The idea would be to design to new drugs that are efficacious and that don't come with these undesirable side effects," he says.